An imam who has become the public face of a proposed Islamic community center and mosque near ground zero has returned to the United States following a taxpayer-funded tour of the Middle East to promote religious tolerance.
Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf's wife, Daisy Khan, told The Associated Press on Monday he returned Sunday from a 15-day trip paid for by the Department of State. She says he plans to comment on the debate surrounding the planned $100 million Islamic center later this week.
During Rauf's trip, he mostly sidestepped questions about the center's location just blocks from the site of the Sept. 11 attacks.
Opponents say the mosque should be moved farther away from where Islamic extremists destroyed the World Trade Center and killed nearly 2,800 people. Supporters say religious freedom should be protected.
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